Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership


Experiential Learning College of Education Chad Higgins Video

The Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership is an innovative program premised on the belief that theory and practice must be combined in a "hands-on" learning environment that focuses on "learning by doing." Each new cohort of 8-10 students begins the doctoral program of studies during the summer session. The summer classes typically meet the first three Wednesdays in June. This program is intended for practicing professionals who desire to further develop and enhance their leadership capacity in P-16 educational organizations.

The program was started in 1992 and since that time 89 students have earned their doctoral degrees.  About 75 individuals are currently employed in the state of Kansas and throughout the nation as Superintendents and other district leaders, as well as in 2 and 4-year institutions of higher education in leadership and/or faculty roles. Significant support is provided through the dissertation process and consequently we have a very high completion rate.

Students attend classes each Wednesday during the first two years of the program. Rather than the typical lecture classroom, seminars are held in a setting where faculty and students meet as equals and share ideas and presentations. When not involved in seminars, students are in the field doing research studies for local school systems. The field-based studies allow students to apply the theoretical knowledge gained in the classroom to practical school situations. Research methods are learned by conducting the studies using various research designs. Results of the studies are disseminated to local, state, and national audiences through presentations and publications.

Testimonials from program graduates: We can videotape program graduates about their experiences.

The most advantageous aspect of the program for me and my district was the field study. I learned how to conduct field research in preparation for my dissertation and developed professional relationships that exist today. My district was able to design a study with no expense and no bias.

In reflecting on the doctorate program, I felt it was one of the best around. It was highly field-based, provided an opportunity for professional growth and collegial partnerships. I felt it provided real-life application as well as an opportunity to grow in the field.

The program has several strengths:

  • Working with individuals to make sure they master concepts to which they have had little previous exposure.
  • Promoting the importance of teamwork in achieving excellence.
  • Providing opportunities for data gathering, data manipulation, construction of data reports, etc....prior to the dissertation experience.
  • CARING about the individuals in the program and working diligently to assist them in completing their doctoral program.

Admission Requirements
  • Admission to the Graduate School with the degree code G11H.
  • Completion of 15 hours of post-Master's degree coursework leading to a district leadership or superintendent license OR 15 hours of post-Master's degree coursework in a related field approved by WSU doctoral program faculty OR a combination of 15 hours of post-Master's degree coursework in a district leadership license program and other coursework in a related field approved by WSU doctoral program faculty.
  • Three years of formal experience in a P-16 educational organization.
  • At least three letters of recommendation from supervisors and/or professional peers that attest to the applicant's potential for success as an educational leader.
  • A current resume or vita of educational and professional experience.
  • A sample of academic writing (such as a published article or a paper written for a graduate level course).
Contact an Advisor

Need your questions answered or more information about this program? We would like to connect you with an advisor that can answer all of your specific questions. Please give us your name, email, phone number, brief description of your question and how you would like to be contacted and we will be with you shortly.

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Course Checksheet
This list of classes will help you track your progress in this program. This program is cohort based so you will proceed through the program through an organized course arrangement.